California parents seeking a Pasadena divorce have found themselves following the divorce of actress Mayim Bialik with great interest. Bialik, the former star of the 1990's sitcom Blossom and Sheldon Cooper's love interest on The Big Bang Theory, announced last week that she is getting a divorce from her husband of nine years. This has led several people to speculate that her split may have been caused by her extreme parenting views.
Bialik believes in attachment parenting, a practice that advocates co-sleeping, breastfeeding, and a child-centered approach to family life. Attachment parenting can be successful in some families, but it only works when both parents are behind the idea. Bialik's ex hasn't publicly expressed his views, but attachment parenting is extremely controversial. For example, Bialik has been heavily criticized for her decision to continue breastfeeding her nearly four year old son.
In a typical divorce, parents have joint legal custody. This gives the non-custodial parent a voice in decisions regarding how the children are raised. Attachment parenting practices fall under the umbrella of major parenting decisions, but it's unlikely that a judge would intervene in any dispute between Bialik and her ex. The court does not want to handle day-to-day parenting issues, even if the parents are famous.
If Bialik and her ex can't come up with a plan for handling post-divorce parenting issues, the court could order them to attend mediation. A mediator is a neutral third party who is charged with coming up with a mutually agreeable solution to the dispute. In an argument over attachment parenting, for example, the solution might be to stop the extended breastfeeding while still implementing attachment parenting's "positive discipline" methods.
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